How to Prune Climbing Roses in the Spring


Pruning is an essential part of the care of rose bushes. Pruning allows light to reach all parts of the rose, and lets in air circulation to prevent disease. Methods for pruning roses vary depending on the type of rose. Rambling roses, bush roses and climbing roses should all be pruned differently. Most climbing roses should be pruned in early spring unless they produce flowers on the previous season's growth.

Step 1

Pull on protective clothing, including heavy leather gardening gloves, goggles, long sleeves and long pants and close-toed shoes. Roses have long, sharp thorns. Protective clothing will protect your skin from scratches and punctures.

Step 2

Mix a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water. Soak a clean cloth with the solution. Swipe your cutting tools with the cloth between cutting each rose cane to prevent the spread of diseases.

Step 3

Select a long-handled pruning saw for pruning roses. This will keep you well back from rose thorns and help reduce the chance of injuries. Sharpen the blade before pruning to avoid injuring the plant.

Step 4

Remove any rose canes that cross the center of the shrub or rub against one another.

Step 5

Cut away any dead, damaged or diseased canes.

Step 6

Prune off any weak, spindly growth. Rose canes that are smaller in diameter than a pencil should be cut off the rose bush.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy leather gardening gloves
  • Long sleeves
  • Closed-toed shoes
  • Goggles
  • Long pants
  • Fine-toothed pruning saw
  • Sharpener
  • Bleach
  • Clean cloth


  • Texas A&M University Extension: Always Follow Proper Pruning Techniques
  • Ohio State Univeristy Extension: Fertilizing, Pruning and Winterizing Roses
  • NC State University: Training/Pruning Vines

Who Can Help

  • Washington State University: Climbing Roses
Keywords: pruning roses, rose care, prune climbing roses

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."